Session 7:
Strength Training

Welcome back!

In our last session you created a goal and action plan for physical activity. Hopefully it went well and you accomplished what you set out to do. In this week’s session, we’re going to talk about tracking your activity to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.

Let’s meet Olga.

Olga is at risk for type 2 diabetes so she’s trying to get a little more activity each week. Her goal is to be active for at least 150 minutes per week at a moderate pace.

The first week, Olga takes a gentle stroll around the block for 10 minutes and does this for 3 days. The next week, Olga walks around the block twice for 17 minutes and does this 5 days that week. During week 3, Olga walks around the block 3 times for 21 minutes and does this 7 days that week. On week 4, Olga follows the same walking schedule as she did in Week 3 but this time she adds some hills to her route. One day that week, she also does 2 sets of 3 reps with a resistance band. During the fifth week, Olga follows the same walking schedule as she did in Week 3 and foror 2 days that week she also does 3 sets of 5 reps with a resistance band.

These days, Olga is meeting her fitness goal. She has lost weight and her blood sugar is lower than it was before she started being more active.

Muscle matters

The physical activities we have focused on so far have been mostly aerobic type of exercise, which is activity that increases your heart rate. The talk test is great for tracking aerobic activity. You probably already knew that physical activity is a great way to lose weight and improve your heart health. However, what you might NOT know is that building muscle is also a key part of losing weight and improving your overall health. That’s because muscle burns calories and consumes blood sugar, even at rest. So the more muscle you build, the easier it is to keep weight off and keep your blood sugar under control.

The way we build muscle is through resistance training, which is also called strength training. Today we’re going to talk about some simple ways to start doing resistance training. Our goal is not to turn you into a body builder or force you to go to a gym or start lifting big weights.

One simple way to build muscle is through exercises that use your body’s own weight for resistance. Do you remember how Olga used a resistance band to get more active from Week 4 to Week 5? She used it for more reps per set, more sets per day, and more days per week.

Today we’ll learn about Wall Push-Ups. Set your phone in a place where you can see the screen as you listen and follow along.. If you can’t follow along now, continue watching anyway to get an idea of how to do this later.

  • Face a wall. Stand a little more than arm’s length away. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean forward. Put your palms flat against the wall at shoulder-height and shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly breathe in as you bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the wall. Use a slow, controlled motion.
  • Hold the pose for 1 second.
  • Breathe out. Slowly push yourself back until your arms are straight.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  • Rest. Then repeat 10 to 15 more times.

When doing resistance training, the number of times you repeat the activity is called a rep and the number of times you do these reps is called a set. So in the example we just talked about, we did 2 sets of 10 – 15 reps.

A picture of Health Coach Emily smiling for the camera
Reviewed by Emily Matson, MS, RDN​

on July 7, 2020. Emily is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Brook Experts.